Mandated Parental Leave. It passed last year and was vetoed. But the odds are good that some form of parental leave will become law. The bill introduced this spring exempts companies with fewer than 50 employees from providing the 12-week leave.
Civil Rights. The latest version of the civil rights bill vetoed last year has provisions that business groups say will put an unfair burden on companies in litigation. A civil rights bill is very likely to pass, but maybe not this one.
Striker Replacement. A bill known as H.R. 5 would guarantee the jobs of a group of employees who walk off the job in an economic dispute.
Health-Care Reform. As usual, lots of proposals and no clear consensus. But small-business lobbyists say the discussion is no longer just about mandating insurance; Washington is also recognizing the need for cost containment.
Americans with Disabilities Act. This major law, passed last year, gives new rights to the disabled in employment and business areas open to the public. The regulations will start being phased in next year, and the Justice Department and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission already have issued proposed regulations.
-- Martha E. Mangelsdorf